GARNER STANDS UP FOR HIMSELF
PRESTON manager Simon Grayson insists comments made by his Coventry counterpart Steven Pressley about Joe Garner gave the striker no extra motivation after he scored in the visitors’ win at the Ricoh Arena.
Pressley claimed that Garner ‘goes down very easily’ and although the forward said that he hadn’t heard of this, his Klinsmannesque celebration after his penalty suggested otherwise!
It sealed a deserved victory for Preston in what was a low-key encounter and they were met with little resistance from an anaemic Coventry side, who barely laid a glove on them.
Grayson said: “Joe’s only motivation is to score goals for Preston North End and he takes great satisfaction scoring against anybody.
“We can’t affect whatever’s been in the Press, we just get on with our game plan and Joe just goes about what he’s doing.
“He was a handful – you could see he battles away, he holds the ball up, gets on the end of crosses and he’s our talisman who gets us goals.
“I thought, from start to finish we controlled the game. We stopped Coventry from playing and showed good temperament in matching them but when we got the ball we passed it with a purpose and we looked a constant threat.”
Preston had the better of the early exchanges with Chris Humphrey shooting just wide and Bailey Wright heading over after Ryan Allsop had nervously punched Paul Gallagher’s deflected free-kick.
Wright then came closer still on 21 minutes when he rose highest to meet another set piece from Gallagher only for the ball to clip the bar on its way over. Sadly the rest of the first half passed completely without incident with Coventry unable to impose themselves or even get a shot in.
The visitors continued to look the more threatening after the break with Ryan Haynes having to cut out a dangerous cut-back by Josh Brownhill meant for Humphrey.
And Preston eventually broke the deadlock after 61 minutes when Gallagher played in another terrific free-kick to give skipper Tom Clarke to easy task of turning the ball in from close range.
Six minutes later Garner doubled their lead from the penalty spot after the striker had been tripped in the penalty area by Seb Hines and that was enough to give Preston the points.
Coventry have now lost their last three games with Pressley saying: “I’d like to give credit to Preston, who are a strong League One side and merited their victory.
“From a personal point of view, we didn’t play with any intensity or fluency or the strength that I want for us and that's up to me to sort that out.
“The confidence of the group looked a bit down - after a good run of results we’ve had a couple of disappointing results and it may have affected us.”
TALISMAN: Joe Garner scores from the spot for Preston to make it 2-0 STAR MAN JOSH